If you haven’t seen “So Goes the Nation…”, a film about Ohio
and the 2004 elections, including how Republicans target Democrats, I encourage you to do so. It’s been on IFC, and it’s a reminder
of what we’ll face in the general election.

So whenever I hear about Obama slamming Clinton on her health care plan it makes
me return to March
2007
and the event which had Obama showing up and revealing he didn’t have
a clue what he was talking about on health care, which is likely why he also
did a flyover
on the Carson City forum
the month before. I’d seen Clinton before, but
now running for president, Clinton blew everyone else off the stage, with Obama registering
barely as a shadow to everyone else. Now we’ve got robocalls from Obama attacking
Clinton on something not too long ago he couldn’t even debate. Via
Ben Smith
:

My name is Dr Bob ??? and I’m a physician in Ames, Iowa.

Hillary Clinton and her Allies have launched misleading attacks on Barack
Obama’s.
healthcare plan.

Well it’s time to set the record straight

Bill Clinton’s own secretary of labor looked at both of their plans and said
that Obama’s plan will insure more people than Hillary Clinton’s.

The key difference Clinton would force people to buy insurance even they
can’t afford it. … ..

TM NOTE: Via another source, the name being used may be “Dr. Bob Mitchell.”

The script is an abject lie. From a
conference call
I participated in, with Gene Sperling weighing in on Clinton’s
health care plan
:

Gene Sperling: Refundable tax credits, which will be fashioned so that families
will not have to pay more than a certain percentage of their income. Health
care should never be “a crushing burden” for families. There’s also
“price consciousness,” which means the insured has to understand
that the credit has to correspond to your ability to pay for the plan you
choose.

Here’s what Paul
Krugman laid out
:

… under the Obama plan, as it now stands, healthy people could choose not
to buy insurance — then sign up for it if they developed health problems
later. Insurance companies couldn’t turn them away, because Mr. Obama’s
plan, like those of his rivals, requires that insurers offer the same policy
to everyone.

As a result, people who did the right thing and bought insurance when they
were healthy would end up subsidizing those who didn’t sign up for insurance
until or unless they needed medical care.

The
Clinton campaign called Mr. Obama out
on his health care assertions earlier,
but the truth isn’t important to Obama’s team. Offering a “virtually universal”
health care plan is not covering everyone.

… .. Additionally, a constellation of the nation’s top health care experts
– including MIT’s Jonathan Gruber, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Diane Rowland
and the Urban Institute’s John Holland — have concluded that plans like Senator
Obama’s, which does not include a requirement for all Americans to have health
care, would leave a substantial portion of the American public without coverage.

Even Senator Obama himself has admitted that his plan would not cover everyone,
calling the plan “virtually universal.” Your top
health care advisor, David Cutler, acknowledged that Senator Obama’s plan
could leave “significant pockets” of people uninsured and said Senator
Obama would “deal with that when the time comes, possibly by mandating
insurance.” … ..

The robocalls aren’t a surprise to me. It’s politics as usual, cynical and
deceptive. But all it does for me is remind me of what a prime target Mr. Obama will be for Republicans using the same sorts of tactics. Remember what they did to Kerry, a war hero? Now think of what they can do to Mr. Obama via robocalls and all their other negative attacks.

Editorial endorsements may not mean anything these days, but the New Hampshire Concord Monitor has come to the decision that Obama may be good, but he’s no Hillary Clinton.

Tomorrow’s editorial will endorse Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary. Here is an excerpt:

Clinton’s ambitious to-do list for her first few weeks in office gives us confidence that her priorities are right and that she would act swiftly to make a positive difference. She is the Monitor’s choice in the Jan. 8 Democratic primary. … .. Barack Obama, more than most, has the power to inspire. The positive tone of his campaign is not a gimmick. He is a serious candidate with sober ideas. For reasons symbolic and substantive, he would also be a nominee Democrats could feel proud to vote for. But Hillary Clinton’s unique combination of smarts, experience and toughness makes her the best choice to win the November election and truly get things done.

People say they hate negative attacks. But the truth is that swiftboating works. Obama can run robocalls all day against Clinton, but all it does for me is to conjure up images and the soundtrack of what’s going to happen to him if he makes it to the general election.